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LeaPea 02-01-2013 09:12 PM

My daughter has never been a sleeper, and I think she is trying to drop her only nap. We used to lay down together at nap time, and even though it took a while, she would eventually drift off. Now I have a six month old too, and it is impossible to lay down with both of them. So, I am usually carrying my son while my daughter lies in bed. We have tried a couple of things: I sing while she lies down, or I leave the room and check in other very five or so minutes. We fiddled with the time to see if a later nap would help, but no dice! It is taking over an hour before she falls asleep. And man, it is an angry, crappy hour.

Last week I tried to completely drop her nap. Around five she starts her quick decline. She goes to bed earlier, but it's not like she sleeps any longer than normal. I think she still needs a nap, but I can't find a way to get her to sleep without both of us angry and frustrated.

Has anyone just forced a child to drop a nap? How long before that becomes the new normal? I am tired and frustrated greensad.gif

Peony 02-02-2013 05:07 AM

I've never had a child nap beyond 2.5. DD1 and DS1 dropped their nap right after turning 2. DD2 made it to almost 2.5 but I had the exact same problem, another baby and the inability to lay down with her. She probably would of napped a little longer had I been able to lay with her but it wasn't possible so the nap was dropped. She just went to bed earlier. The transition to not napping from napping takes a while before they are not melting later in the day. A couple weeks to a couple months sometimes. We always tried to avoid as many lat afternoon car trips as possible, which didn't always happen but then I'd sing loudly in the car to keep people awake. winky.gif

kristah1000 02-02-2013 08:09 AM

Boy do I hear you! I have. 7 month old and my DD just turned 3. Just before Christmas she stopped napping and while its fine through the day by 4-5 pm everything is impossible and causes a major meltdown. If we go anywhere in the car after 12 she falls asleep though. She has started napping again, only not every day. When she does nap, it is for 2-3 hours. When she doesn't nap, supper time is a disaster, and she usually falls asleep either at the table or right afterwards. I also don't know what to do, whether to force her to stop or to try to encourage the nap. I have the same problem that I can't lay down with her because of my DS, and she won't go by herself. We have to make a decision though, because the napping only some of the time thing is causing major inconsistency with bedtime. I'll be watching this thread for advice smile.gif

kristah1000 02-02-2013 08:09 AM

Sorry double post smile.gif

darbycrash 02-02-2013 08:46 AM

Seems like we have more mothers with this problem than we have advice givers so far :(  I am GOING to have this problem as primero is 20 mos and secundo will be born in August.  We wear primero to sleep in a mai tai for naps but lay with him till he's asleep at night (we bed share).  Lots of changes ahead but I want to make them as smooth as possible for all of us. Especially primero as I remember how tough things are when you're a kid.

grethel 02-02-2013 09:41 AM

I've had the same experience as Peony. DD was 2.5 when she dropped her nap. It took about a month to really transition to the earlier bedtime successfully and get rid of the early-evening crankies, but now it works fine. In the beginning it didn't seem like she was sleeping any longer at night, even though she went to bed earlier, but as time went on and she got used to the new schedule, she did eventually add about an hour to her sleep, and she's not grumpy in the afternoon anymore. We do still try to have a quiet time in mid-afternoon (quiet play, books, music or a very mellow video), and she sometimes needs another quiet time activity around 5 or 6 if it's been a really hectic day.

askins 02-02-2013 04:21 PM

Have you tried just having "quiet time"?  My DS is 22 months.  He will nap 4-5 days out of the week, and the other 2-3 will skip the nap.  But every day he goes to his room for quiet time at 2pm.  We tell him, "you can lay down to sleep or you can quietly play with your stuffed animals, but it is quiet time now."  If he doesn't fall asleep by 3:30-4, he's welcome to get up/come out if he wants.  This way, the nap is offered, everyone (mama!) gets a break, and even if he doesn't nap, he gets a little rest that pushes him through those evening hours.  His bedtime is a consistent 8pm regardless of the nap situation.

vegrunr 02-06-2013 07:45 AM

askins- How do you "enforce" the quiet time?  As in, how do you get your son to stay in his room?  Did you have to teach him what quiet time was and what to do during that time?  My son is almost 2 1/2 has dropped his nap and I would like to have a quiet time with him established before new baby comes in September.  But there is no way he will stay in his room by himself for any amount of time right now.  I figured we'd start at 5 min and build up.  I plan to make a visual for him of ideas to do during quiet time. 

askins 02-06-2013 09:54 AM

Well, he doesn't know how to open doors yet, so that's a big help.  But, it's not like he spends time at the door trying to open it or asking to come out either (which he will do if he wants to be done).


We allow him board books (the demise of one of his favorite paper storybooks prompted a "board books only" rule) and then the stuffed animals on his bed.  He does a lot of "reading," talking to/pretending with his animals, making glo-worm play songs.  We have a video monitor so we can periodically check on him.  He also likes to lay on his back on the bed and kick the wall, and occasionally be reminded that quiet time means "quiet," but usually one verbal reminder and a cup of water is all that's necessary.


Once he can open doors, I imagine it will be a whole new adventure.  I plan to do a little bit of enforcing - "You can either take a nap or play quietly, but you need to stay here for a while" - but we'll see how he does.  OTOH, he really seems to enjoy the time and I think that a little time by himself is a good thing, so maybe it won't be much of a fight.  I can always hope.

Parker'smommy 02-06-2013 11:50 PM

When I had a 3 year old and a newborn, I did everything in my power to preserve nap what did the trick was to nurse the baby in ds' room while singing to the 3 year old. I sat in a chair next to his bed, and then both were asleep!!!! Sometimes, I would let him unwind and watch a tv show while I nursed the baby, set her down asleep, and then go lay with 3 year old. It became routine. Both kids napped till they entered kindy @ 5 1/2. Im not strict about anything except naps....I NEED my kids to nap. smile.gif good luck!

kristah1000 02-07-2013 05:25 AM

The nap seems to have returned here! For the last week I have been able to get my 7 month old DS off to sleep in the afternoon, then lay down with the 3 year old for about 15 minutes until she sleeps. She stays asleep most times for 2.5 hours, and he usually sleeps for 2. I can still get her to bed by 8:30 pm, and things are much calmer in our house hold smile.gif

I was thinking the other day that things only started to get easier when I decided that it didn't matter if she napped or not. Before I would get so frustrated when she wouldn't nap because I depended on that time to get a break. Now I think well if she naps great, and if not that's ok too. Maybe now that I am more relaxed about it she is too? I am hoping we can hang on to it for a few more months.

skycheattraffic 02-07-2013 06:36 AM

I love reading what works for you mamas. I'm due in July and DD will be 27 months. She nurses down to sleep each time and I'm REALLY hoping that tandem nursing will help keep her napping and baby happy. It will probably end up being a hot mess though lol

askins 02-07-2013 10:20 AM

So my DS learned how to open his door last night.  (Cue all your laughter regarding my post above.)  Bedtime/night was a disaster. 


Dreading "nap" time today.

LeaPea 02-07-2013 10:23 AM

We have tried quiet time here, but DD just cries. Never works out.

I don't mind if she doesn't nap, but around 5 pm it's all downhill. I figure eventually she will regulate her sleep, then we will try quiet time again.

Quinalla 02-07-2013 11:49 AM

DD is trying to stop napping here too, but she's not ready for it yet. She hasn't napped since Friday (today is Thursday) so last night we put her down just after 6pm and she still slept until just after 7am, she seemed more cheerful this morning so hopefully that has helped her catch up a bit. If she is going to drop her nap completely, she's going to have to go to bed at 7pm at the latest I think, when she was napping, she usually went to bed ~8pm and would get up 6:30ish, but now I am usually dragging her out of bed at 7:30am as I have to go to work.

I'm trying to do quiet time instead, which sort of works, its more like she pretends to nap and instead plays on her bed and in her dressers and whatnot for 45 minutes or so, so maybe we should just switch to official quiet time. I think they would be fine with that at daycare too as long as she was quiet on her cot with a few books, dunno, probably like it better than her not napping eyesroll.gif

thispathisme 02-07-2013 12:47 PM

Originally Posted by askins

So my DS learned how to open his door last night. (Cue all your laughter regarding my post above.) Bedtime/night was a disaster.

Dreading "nap" time today.

How did nap time go today? We always talk about how lucky we are that DS hasn't learned how to turn a door knob yet. Can't imagine the extra work that'll create.

DS skipped his nap today. No advice here, OP. But I have started implementing quiet time. (We have a 5 month old over here too.) And someone suggested 2pm is quiet/naptime, no matter what. I think we'll do that too as nap time has been anywhere between noon and 2 lately.

LeaPea 02-07-2013 01:35 PM

DD had a nap/quiet time meltdown. As soon as I say "quiet time," she freaks out! I guess she associates it with napping and being away from me.

Today, I just had her sit on the couch and do quiet time. She fell asleep while I was watching a show. I guess a nap is a nap.

askins 02-07-2013 01:40 PM

Originally Posted by thispathisme View Post

How did nap time go today? We always talk about how lucky we are that DS hasn't learned how to turn a door knob yet. Can't imagine the extra work that'll create.


So, he went down pretty easy actually.  I have some hope that maybe this won't be as rough a transition as it appeared last night.


He was exhausted from his adventures last night (see my other thread in this forum for a detailed description of that fiasco), and we went out to play in the snow for 45 mins after lunch to make sure he was good and worn out. I took him up to his bed and we read a book. When I left, he cried and came out of his room twice, after both of which I walked him back to bed. The second time I took him back in, he handed me his glo-worm, which has needed new batteries for several weeks. I told him, "I will fix glo-worm if you stay in your bed." And he did! And I did. And he played glo-worm about 4 times, then rolled over and went to sleep!


Maybe we'll be okay sooner rather than later?  Major fingers crossed for bedtime tonight.  I feel like that's a bigger deal, because I don't really mind if he skips his nap, but I do mind if he doesn't sleep all night!

CoBabyMaker 02-07-2013 02:46 PM

Oh bother.  I was coming here to vent/plead desperately for help on this exact topic.  Perhaps this is just really what is happening since it's been going on for months I guess I should just accept.  I feel like I am going to lose my mind with this.  Sigh. Nothing works to make her sleep and I'm pretty sure drugging her everyday isn't really an option.

JudiAU 02-10-2013 09:23 PM

It gets better. Really. If she is truly tired, she'll drift off. Otherwise, it gets better. =)

EVEP 02-14-2013 05:22 PM

My 2 y/o will lay in bed, talk to her stuffed animals and sing to herself. I have to go in and remind her that it is sleepy time. Sometimes she dozes right off. A lot of the time she will just lay there for a while and I can hear her talking to herself. About an hour goes by and she yells "Mom, i'm wake!!" (she won't get out of the toddler bed unless I come in). It's actually really funny because I say to her "You didn't even sleep!" and she goes "I know."...Not much help but had to share!

vegrunr 02-19-2013 12:00 PM

So I'm working toward creating a quiet time routine because it does not look like naps are going to return.  We put a mattress on the floor instead of using the crib since I was having trouble getting him in now that I'm pregnant and he's about 30 lbs.  This is definitely not helping the situation.  For now I just put a stack of books next to the mattress and get out some activities and then close the gate on his room.  I want to get some new toys/activities that will keep him busy and will be special just for quiet time. Maybe also some library books that will stay in quiet time basket so they are only accessible during that time.  I also plan to order a kid friendly timer as I think a visual will help. I definitely want something established by baby 2's arrival!  


Right now ds also seems to hate quiet time as he is equating it with naps (which he was fighting at the end) and knows it is time by himself.  I want to try to make it a positive time so I'll have to work on that. I think we have to start small with maybe me even in there reading my own book to start and then ease my way out and lengthen the time.  I have been so exhausted I am not really teaching him what the time is for and I just put him in there and crash on my own bed across the hall.  He calls for me every 5 min or so and I don't really get much rest.  Sometimes I let him sit on my bed and read books which he seems to accept more than being alone.  I am okay with it but of course he wants to talk to me while I am trying to sleep, haha. 

wolfmama31 02-06-2014 03:57 PM

DD started dropping naps right after she turned 2. But it would be on and off, like a week of good napping then a week of it taking me 2 hours to get her to sleep and it all ending up not feeling worth it. By 27 months nothing made her go to sleep. She's never slept in the car or stroller (unless she's not with me... which is rare) but putting her in the soft structured carrier and dancing would always get her. But then no longer. She can defy sleep like no body's business. And with a sly grin on her face the whole while! I realized that no naps may be the new normal and that I better figure out how to deal. (What I noticed was without that down time in the afternoon my mental health plummeted.)  


She's still my only child so I realize it's simpler but here's the journey we've been on: At first I was like, "fine, if you're not going to nap, great, I'm sick of rushing through our morning activities to get home to try and get you down and have it be a fight. I know you need rhythm and routine and all that gobbly gook but I need a break. I want to focus on really enjoying our mornings out and coming home when we come home. You can sleep along the way if you need it." This kinda worked. For helping my sanity at least. We'd focus on enjoying our mornings and letting them drift into the afternoon if they did. Then we'd come home and have a very quiet, mellow, home-based afternoon that went straight into supper and bedtime. She would get insane (wound up and volatile and hit the dogs) every evening for about a month maybe? Then that passed, and, as long as she got down time for deep, uninterrupted play in the afternoon, she'd make it to bedtime no problem. I think she's ready for bed at 6pm really, on the no-nap days, but my husband doesn't get home until then and we've always leaned toward the later in bedtimes. So I feel conflicted as a mother but go with the philosophy that we meet her needs 99% of the time and that sometime she has to work with the family's needs too. So we try to be in bed by 7:30pm for stories and snuggles and then she's usually out by 8pm. And, although sometimes quite restlessly and nursing at least 3 times throughout the night, she'll sleep 12 hours. 


Lately (she's 30 months now) I've been noticing her showing really clear tired signs in the afternoon, like 1-2 range and if I make the space for nursing and rocking or snuggling sometimes she'll drift off. And if she doesn't drift off she'll be super quiet. I usually read to her for awhile then say I need to close my eyes and then I don't respond no matter how much she freaks out. Generally it's not a very long freak out and she cuddles up and falls asleep or plays quietly until I sit up (she can go up to half an hour.) We haven't had successful quiet times without my presence BUT I've noticed that, even if she does not sleep, they help her make it through the afternoon. And, even though I'm not getting solo productive time, I am getting to lay down and close my eyes and be still. Which helps me make it through the afternoon. 


She was really sick last week and was all of a sudden napping every day again and it was amazing. And this week she's keeping with that trend. She seems desperate for sleep in a way she wasn't before. BUT the trade-off is that she won't fall asleep until 10pm. Even if we're in bed at 7:30. And then she only sleeps 10 hrs. So she's not really getting any more sleep. 


Just my experience! Think it's always helpful to share our stories :)

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